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A student plays on a grand piano


The programs in Music at McMaster are designed to provide students with opportunities to study music that are both challenging and exciting.

Students who wish to take a Music degree at McMaster must come to the University for an audition and an interview, which are the necessary requirements for entry into the first-year program, Music I.

A Minor in Music does not require an audition, but the completion of 24 units of Music or Music Cognition courses, of which no more than 9 units can be level I courses.

Admission to the Honours Bachelor of Music, the Honours Bachelor of Music (Music Cognition) or the B.A. Combined Honours in Music and another subject, requires the completion of Music I. Admission to the B.A. in Music requires either the completion of Music I, or any Level I program which must include Music 1A03 and 1AA3, and a successful audition.

Student playing a ClarinetThe Music degree programs give students a thorough grounding in the four fundamental areas of music instruction:

  • Theory
  • General musicianship
  • History
  • Performance.

Upper level courses in the various sub-fields of music study can be taken in preparation for a variety of career paths, including music education (primary to senior), academia, performance and composition.

The Honours Bachelor of Music (Music Cognition) allows music students to explore exciting new research into how music is perceived in the brain and how music intersects with other aspects of intellectual development. The educational applications of these discoveries are also considered. For admission to this specialization, students must include Psychology 1X03 and 1XX3 as part of their Music 1 program. Students who do not have Grade 12 Biology U, must also complete Biology 1P03.

The Diploma in Music Performance is a program available to students taking studio lessons. A formal application is made usually at the end of level III, although interested students should consult with the Academic Counsellor in Music earlier in their programs to make sure they are aware of the requirements.


Before we can offer you a place on our Music program, you’ll need to come to the University for an audition. Our auditions process includes opportunities for you to meet our professors, current students in the program and see our facilities.

Find out more about the audition process.

Available programs

  • Honours Music (B.Mus.(Honours)) {2370}
  • Honours Music (B.Mus.(Honours)) (Music Cognition) {2377}
  • Combined Honours B.A. in Music and Another Subject
  • B.A. in Music {1378}
  • Minor in Music

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